Fire extinguishers were nowhere to be found Monday morning during an apartment fire in the northwest Las Vegas Valley.
Las Vegas firefighters responded to The Crossing apartments at 5801 Lake Mead Boulevard, near Jones Boulevard, just before 10 a.m. They found a downstairs apartment on fire. Investigators think the fire may have started in the water heater closet.
One apartment occupant was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and another was displaced, Las Vegas fire spokesman Tim Szymanksi said.
Occupants told firefighters they looked for a fire extinguisher when they saw the flames but that the cabinets that usually hold them were empty.
Fire gutted the apartment, causing $35,000 in damage. Units on either side were undamaged.
Szymanski said the lack of a fire extinguisher in the unit could be a violation of the safety code, especially because nearby units also lacked fire extinguishers. He filed a complaint with the Fire Prevention Department.
An investigation will take place Tuesday, and its results will be reported to the Fire Marshall. If investigators find the apartment building was in violation of the safety code, The Crossing apartments may receive a fine.
Szymanski added that the Las Vegas Fire Department is unable to conduct routine inspections in homes to ensure that safety provisions are met, so it requires the public’s help in reporting issues so as prevent or better manage possible fire hazards.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation and the American Red Cross is assisting residents of The Crossing.